Saturday, November 8, 2014

Don't call it a comeback -- I've been here for years.

Okay, okay, okay, it's been a long-ass while since I posted. I either haven't felt like it or have felt like I didn't have anything to say that wasn't just a bunch of bitching and whining. I've come to realize that a lot of what makes me drink about architecture is what makes anyone who does white-collar work drink copious quantities of cheap liquor and boxed wine. Architecture and the design/construction profession gives these everyday white-collar pains a special twist that makes one extra-familiar with the flavor of Mr. Boston vodka. The way we (architects) conduct our business seems almost antithetical sometimes to good business sense, and for the past couple of years, it's left me feeling like I need to get out of this profession.

And yet, that feels like giving up just as I'm getting to a place where I could really make a difference. What's an angry li'l radical to do?

When I'm frustrated, I do what I always do: make lists. What's got me so irritated? Let's see:

1. I've seen that the emperor has no clothes and a very small wang. By being promoted to Associate a two years ago, I've seen how decisions are made, how things get done, and who really feels what about each topic we bring up and deal with. It's amazing, appalling even to see the politics and personalities behind how anything happens at Design Associates, and there are many times that I'm embarrassed to be part of it. But I also am coming to realize that as a human being--not as an associate, or architect, or any other hat I wear as an identity--I have a responsibility to do what I can to change what I can.

2. I'm fucking tired. I am. I'm exhausted from striving and trying and performing and outperforming and jumping through hoops and being the good girl. I'm learning that in order to keep fighting the good fight, especially having just turned 39, that I need to protect and defend my energy better and set better boundaries. At some point, I get to turn down, defer, delegate, or throw aside any tasks or behaviors that are truly not helping me or are a good use of my time.

3. Weed is fucking awesome. Yes, it's legal here in Colorado. Yes, I finally tried it for the first time at the ripe old age of 38 1/2 years old, and I completely understand why people do it. Relaxing, fun, great sleep, and no hangover. We have some bugs to work out of the system, but overall I'm glad our voters made it legal.

I'm embarking on a big new project to talk about and walk everyone through. So far it's shaping up to be the opposite of St. Ermahgerd, but we'll see. There have been a lot of changes at Design Associates, but things are still interesting. I continue, though, to evaluate a balance between how much I gossip about my work and colleagues with you all and how much should I be professional and ethical, given my position at my firm and my own craptastic attempts to be quasi-Buddhist. A few of you have written me wonderful emails about this blog, and I owe you responses (and you'll get responses). But meanwhile, thanks for checking in--I hope to be a little more regular with my posts as I climb further out of this depression and massive sea change in my behavior and personality.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hanging in there...

Wow, been a while since I posted, huh?  Guess I should say something, huh?

I am indeed still alive and feeling better. Six months of antidepressants, frequent chats with Vinnie (my erstwhile antiques-dealer-and-therapist pal), and some serious changes at work have started me on the road to recovery, or at least the road towards Giving A Fuck Again. I've been getting the support I need to do my job well and properly, and I've generally been given the space I need to do the stuff I like doing. (I think I scared the shit out of Howie, my long-time boss, during my meltdown. I think he might be a little more willing to back off from me so I don't just quit Design Associates in a desk-flipping-and-burning blaze of glory.)

I've had a hard time coming up with anything to say here on WAD, and when I do think of something, I don't feel like writing it down.  The biggest change in my life that I'm finding is a lack of my former energy and what I call sudden onset procrastination. Vinnie, however, has diagnosed it as "how everyone else feels all the goddamn time". I don't know if it's my late-thirties doing this to me, or if this is how I'm supposed to feel when I peel away the layers of depression and anxiety. Either way, I'm adjusting to a New Normal.

I'm still committed in some way to continuing to share with the world Why Architecture is Still Fucked Up and Needs to Fix Its Shit. Having been broken and chased into a black hole by my job and profession, I cannot stand by and watch it eat its young and itself. When I can, I'll muster up the energy to blog-n-bitch about what I see and what the profession's future can be.  Word.